Posted by: Craig Woolheater on May 31st, 2007
Skeptics here decry the use of the term scoftic. The claim is cryptozoology would be taken more seriously without the name calling.
As Loren has posted here on Cryptomundo at Skeptic Says You Are Stupid, the skeptics like to throw around the terms “woo” and “woo-woo”.
Go take a look at the James Randi Educational Foundation forums, and you can see the term thrown around all over the place.
What does the term mean though?
According to SkepticWiki, here is the definition of the word:
Woo-woo (or sometimes, simply woo) is used within parts of the skeptical community in referring to extraordinary beliefs for which it is felt there is insufficient extraordinary evidence, and people who hold those beliefs.
Sometimes used as an adjective (“My brother has a lot of woo-woo beliefs”), other times as a noun (“That message board is full of woo-woos”), it is almost always used as a term of derision.
The origin of the term is unclear.
One theory is that it comes from the “woo-ooo” sound made by a Theramin, the electronic instrument often used in old horror films to emphasize that something strange or mysterious was happening (such as the appearance of a ghost or alien). Another theory is that the term woo-woo comes from the theme song of Rod Serlings’s The Twilight Zone. Yet another theory is that “woo woo” was early 20th century slang for insanity.
Thank you for publishing a final deconstruction of that bit of woo-woo. Source
Being psychic is not about having some “woo-woo” abilities that one can only be born with. Source
Since the term is almost always used derisively, it is not surprising that some people find it unnecessarily offensive, particularly when applied to them or their own beliefs.
Although more neutral terms such as “believer” are less emotionally-charged, the brevity and (to some) humor of the term “woo-woo” has earned it a popularity, particularly within online skeptical communities such as the JREF Forum. This usage may be criticized as an ad hominem argument, or as tending to dismiss a person or topic on strangeness alone, rather than addressing the issue.SkepticWiki
So according to the skeptics themselves, or at least SkepticWiki, the term “woo” is one of derision.
So it looks like the pot (skeptics) is calling the kettle (cryptozoology) black.
What a fine kettle of (mystery) fish we’ve gotten ourselves into.